Wage theft costs millions of dollars every year. If you are one of the millions of workers who suffer from wage theft, you do have resources available to help you.
If your employer has stolen your wages, the laws have been broken and you do have legal rights to pursue a claim and recover your losses. The wage theft claims process can vary from one state to another.
If you work in Mississippi, you should familiarize yourself with how to report wage theft in Mississippi so you can recoup your losses.
Wage theft is sometimes described as the crime that no one talks about, but it does happen. If you do not pursue a claim or report the incident, you will continue to be a victim and you will continue to lose money.
When you report the incident, you may also be helping protect others from the same activity and unscrupulous actions of that employer. Here are some of the details pertaining to reporting wage theft in Mississippi.
What Do You Need To Know Before You File A Wage Theft Claim?
If you have been the victim of wage theft, you should keep all the supporting evidence and documentation that you can gather.
Keep paystubs, timecards, document time worked as well as breaks taken, and get statements from witnesses who know when you worked and your schedule. Also, you will need your employment contract or agreement and your employee handbook.
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes laws that employers must abide by and that help protect employees from unscrupulous actions and from being mistreated while on the job.
It is important to be informed about your rights. State laws establish the frequency of pay dates and other specific details, but federal law requires that employees who are not exempt be paid overtime at a rate of time and a half for any hours worked more than 40 during a workweek. Also, the FLSA establishes federal minimum wage, but state minimum wage may be higher.
There are many ways that wage theft takes place. It could involve you being paid less than minimum wage, not being paid for all the hours that you worked, not being paid on time, not receiving your commissions, or one of many other aspects of not being paid what you have earned when you are supposed to be paid for it.
There is a time limit – called a statute of limitations – for pursuing a claim after you have suffered wage theft. You should regularly compare your timecard to your paystub and if you see a discrepancy, you should immediately notify your employer.
The Fair Labor Standards Act
The FLSA indicates that if you are not paid for your wages, you have the right to pursue a claim against your employer. Employers who violate the FLSA could be required to pay aggressive liquidated damages.
Those who blatantly break the law and show a pattern of inappropriate behavior could face criminal charges as well. Employers are familiar with the laws and they understand what they are to do to ensure they abide by the laws and that their employees are treated fairly and properly.
If you are worried that if you file a complaint you will be retaliated against by your employer, there are laws in place to protect you. Retaliation is prohibited, and if an employer does retaliate, he or she could face harsh penalties. You could also pursue a claim against your employer for retaliating against you.
How To Report Wage Theft
If you have suffered wage theft, you should first speak with your employer. It could have been an honest mistake. If it is accidental, they will promptly address the issue.
If they disagree, or if they fail to respond to your request, you will file a federal claim against your employer to get the process started.
There is no time limit for filing a wage theft claim in Mississippi, but you will want to get the process started as quickly as possible. The earlier you file your claim, the more quickly you are likely to receive your lost earnings.
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If you have suffered wage theft in Mississippi, you can benefit from enlisting the help of an attorney.
When you speak with a lawyer, discuss their payment. Some employment law attorneys take cases on a contingency basis, which means that they are only paid when you win your claim and other attorneys require an advance retainer. Get your free case review today.